Dream and Hustle

Urban Solutions

Understanding the HENRY, NINJA and LENDME Demographics Among African-Americans

Sunday, May 13, 2018

No matter how we African-Americans try to portray ourselves with selfies in social media, what we black folks write in a comment section trying to convince everyone of something - we know almost all us African-Americans fall under three demographics known as HENRY, NINJA or LENDME. Let’s discuss these demographics as they pertain to the black community and how we develop business strategies to realistically serve African-Americans. 

HENRY - High Earners, Not Rich Yet

This HENRY demographic are individuals who have 200k – 800k in wealth but it’s important to note their wealth is tied up in assets that are not liquid such as retirement and home value and vulnerable to total loss of wealth due to greater economic factors.  Gainfully employed with salaries ranging from near $100,000 to $150,000 but most of the HENRY wealth is vested into the major assets and not used as a vehicle to become “rich” where they can pursue their true passion and dreams. 

Many HENRYs are operating in a linear stagnant manner believing if they maintain a good job and good home, nothing will change which is further from the truth. History shown over and over, well-off African-Americans start dropping in income class and gainful employment as early as 39 years old and not able to recover due to systematic discrimination against a trifecta of race, age and gender. 

HENRYs are the most qualified for the Afro-Tech movement to operate complex side-hustles and make the global moves necessary to move from just a high-earner to a rich value creator. The strategy to work with HENRYs focus on solid proven side hustles and ventures to help shape the HENRY next chapter in life. HENRYs will never listen to a simple character like a Dr. Boyce Watkins on YouTube because  HENRYs will demand a true track record of success and able to make things happen when dealing with anyone on money and business. 

NINJA – No Income, No Job or Assets

These are the broke-ass brothas and broke-ass sistas in the black community, there is no other way to put it. The term NINJA was actually coined by the predatory lending industry on who to target for advanced tax refund loans, car title loans, pawn shops and payday loans.  NINJAs are the ones who did not take their education in grammar and high school serious, did not go to college and now working odd or underserving jobs to maintain a lifestyle. 

NINJAs tend to live paycheck to paycheck with little left to spend on themselves and enjoy things. Bills become past due and NINJAs resort to predatory lending practices such as pawn shops and title loans on cars they bought the cash car lot. Women NINJAs are on some form of public assistance while men NINJAs have been caught up in the criminal justice system and living off mommy or an aunt and trying to hustle their way through life. 

But NINJAs are good at delusions of grandeur of making it big as a music producer or rapping their way out of the trap game. NINJA women are in the clubs dancing for dollars asking for a tip and posting pics of herself on Instagram hoping someone will send here some cash.me funds. NINJAs are on social media flexing the most and have the biggest mouth and opinion and try to act the hardest when everybody can look at these NINJAs on Instagram flexing and know that NINJA ain’t holding down shit and look like they can’t go a full month without a past due bill somewhere. 

One bright side - NINJAs are skilled at making something out of nothing and finding a way when others think there is no way. But NINJAs cannot just up and graduate to Afro-Tech caliber because of the lack of dedication to formal education and workflow processes. What NINJAs can do is operate a lot of the Afro-Tech micro-enterprise ventures within their own community to establish an ecosystem of collective economics where a rising tide floats all boats. So the strategy is to establish platforms and ecosystems the NINJAs in the hood can plug into and run with it. 

LENDME – Low Earners, No Dollar Making Entrepreneurs

These are the brothas and sistas who make chicken-scratch money on the gig but they got the next big hustle figured out but the hustle ain’t moving anywhere except inside their brain, not in the real world. These are the ones who are into cliché, commentary, what-ifs and talk up the hustles but they go to work and do some lightweight work all day long and come back tired and sleepy and just want to do drugs and watch YouTube and follow someone on Instagram. 

LENDME are the most dangerous demographic among African-Americans because they got a little money and a little knowledge and act like they know every damn thing.  These are the ones on YouTube following cats running their mouth talking pseudo-knowledge. You really cannot tell a LENDME anything and even if you did, they wouldn’t listen anyway because they act like they know every damn thing but have to get up and go to their job the next day. 

It is recommended to stay clear of LENDME unless you want to make money selling some BS like Hidden Colors of Powernomics or 48 Laws of Power or Color of Law to this demographic just to blood suck their lightweight money out of the LENDME pockets. It is more profitable and more efficient to reach other demographics around the world to convert into customers with the same effort to convince a LENDME that you are way better than the ones the LENDME choose to follow on YouTube and Instagram. LENDME are just too broke to raise money from and too weak to hustle hard on the streets so LENDME are just throwaways and worthless except for manipulation and exploitation of their desire for grandeur and faking it. 

Afro-Tech – Awesome Fresh Opportunity-Taking Entrepreneurs Constantly Hustling

Of all of the demographics, we consider the Afro-Tech to be the most awesome and exciting. The Afro-Tech are not customers, they are the solution, period. Afro-Tech don’t need to chase money, they can make their own store of value, create value and transfer of value mechanism to create economics. The Afro-Tech is also future facing always looking forward at how to make tomorrow better than today. 

The Afro-Tech has high mobility and adaptability due to understanding STEM, workflows, processes, patterns, practices and techniques. Where other African-American demographics will start to fall apart, the Afro-Tech has shifted and adapted to new paradigms and position themselves where the next big thing is occurring. Afro-Tech does not worry about failure because failure itself is treated as a manageable practice to fail fast and efficient to quickly recover and continue progressing forward. 

Where other groups see oppression and position themselves as victims, the Afro-Tech pursue opportunities and position themselves as value creators. The Afro-Tech make moves all over the world and can easily be found all over the world making moves from London to Dubai to Shanghai. The best way to deal with and approach the Afro-Tech is just stay in your lane. If you don’t have the skills, the background, the depth and reach like the Afro-Tech can do to build platforms, innovation and deliver solutions to problems and continuously improve, then let the real ones make it happen and you just sit on the sideline until you ready to step up and do it like an Afro-Tech. 


Ed Dunn

From West Side to World Wide